On behalf of California Employment Counsel, APC on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
Even before the #MeToo movement took place, concerts and musical festivals were infamous for the amount of sexual misconduct that happened within the premises. Many young adults often take advantage of these events thanks to the large crowds and lack of adult supervision by harassing or groping other attendees without their consent.
This repulsive behavior was especially present at 2018’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, arguably one of the most popular annual music events in California. Shortly after last year’s festival, a Teen Vogue article went viral after highlighting the disturbing experiences dozens of women had during the concerts. In response to the criticism they’ve received, Coachella has made multiple updates to 2019’s festival. Female festival volunteers and workers at this festival or upcoming concert events should be aware of what these changes could mean for their workplace environments.
Safe spaces and staff
Earlier this year, Coachella announced that they were instituting a new program called “Every One” that attempts to make festival grounds feel safer for attendees. There are designated safe spaces all around festival grounds meant to help anyone in distress. These areas will also feature highly trained counselors and licensed therapists that can help potential victims recover from any abuse they experienced.
They also claim they are stepping up their sexual harassment training with the other event staff in preparation for interacting with multiple people and how to respond to sexual harassment reports. Employees must remove anyone found in violation of festival policies from the premises without giving them a refund.
How it affects staff
While most reports of sexual harassment at music festivals focus on attendees, there have also been several occasions where volunteers and staff members face this mistreatment. If other music events take similar approaches to what Coachella is doing, they can increase awareness of the issue and provide more options to workers that experience harassment on the job.
Only time will tell how effective these new methods will be in decreasing sexual harassment at these types of events. Even though they may end up being a step in the right direction, you still need to prepare yourself for the worst. If you become a victim of sexual harassment or a hostile work environment at the next festival, know what legal options you have available that can assist you in recovering from the traumatic incident.